When I was growing up we would often talk about celebrating mass, but it never really felt like a “celebration” in the normal sense of the word. But the mood at the Western Wall at sunset on Friday was very much one of celebration. It seemed to bring together all elements of Israeli society.
In the center everything converged, yet not far away a concentration of orthodox Jews worshiped at the Western Wall…
…while others pushed a baby stroller toward the celebration.
Meanwhile, young soldiers on a break were busy checking their smart phones, as young soldiers everywhere are inclined to do.
It was unlike anything else I have ever seen. And all of this was happening in an area barely the size of a football field.
What made it even stranger still, was realizing this was only one facet of Jerusalem. There is also a significant Christian presence.
Not to mention Muslim.
And of course all these elements coexist, uneasily, reluctantly, within a stones throw of each other.
Quite literally, “within a stones throw”. And I guess that’s part of the problem.
But I still highly recommend a visit if you ever have the chance.
This is one of the (lots of) places in my wish list… I wonder if one day the confrontations will stop there. Thanks for sharing your experience!
This brings back good memories… 🙂
By the way, the fourth quarter in the Old City (as this part of Jerusalem is called in Israel) is the Armenian quarter, also worth visiting.
Yes, we did visit the Armenian quarter. That is where we saw the fourth station of the cross in a courtyard … with a small bar serving cold draft beer. It was one of those moments that you just couldn’t make up. Let’s just say that the fourth station of the cross will never again have quite the same significance.
Alas there is so much to see that there is no way to do it justice in a few blog posts.
Yes, thousands of years of history are hard to sum up… 🙂
I’m glad you had a chance to visit all quarters.
What a wonderful trip you had!
Always thought this would be an amazing place to visit
Yes, it was an amazing trip. And I’m only up to day four of a two week visit.
Much more to come…
It is definitely well worth the visit if you ever have the chance. I definitely hope to return.
Glad you are enjoying the posts.
You were right – it definitely is an amazing place.